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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Portrait of Joseph Haydn engraved by F A Andorff by Carl Jäger
The Cobbe Collection Trust, UK / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67710
Recording details: August 2008
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: August 2009
Total duration: 12 minutes 19 seconds

'One of the outstanding releases of the Haydn celebratory year' (International Record Review)

'A marvellously polished collection of performances … he is a model of correctness, with enough wit, exuberance and the most exquisite lightness of touches to keep the music buoyant' (The Guardian)

'Hamelin is most associated with virtuoso fireworks for piano, but he can also miniaturise himself exquisitely to suit Haydn's wit and elegance … the spring in his fingers is delightful' (The Times)

'As always, Haydn's originality astonishes and delights in his piano music as much as in his symphonies and string quartets. Hamelin revels in the tongue-in-cheek high jinks of the finale to the E minor sonata (No 34) … and is especially compelling in the great C major (No 48) … works that rank with the finest creations of the Viennese Classical period. An unmissable bargain at two-discs-for-the-price of one' (The Sunday Times)

'The continuous outpouring of beautiful tone; it's mesmerizing … these performances are beyond criticism' (Fanfare, USA)

'They sound absolutely superb, in the right hands, on the modern grand piano. And Marc-André Hamelin has the right hands, as his first two-disc set showed … playing of crisp clarity and deep feeling, superbly recorded' (Dominion Post, New Zealand)

'This Hyperion double set contains some of the finest performances of Haydn sonatas I have heard. Hamelin's playing overflows with ardent lyricism and I especially enjoyed his naturalness of rubato. The close sound quality from the Henry Wood Hall is impressive and the booklet essay by Richard Wigmore is helpful too' (MusicWeb International)

Piano Sonata in C major, Hob XVI:48
published in 1789 by Breitkopf

Rondo: Presto  [3'45]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In 1789, the Leipzig publisher Breitkopf announced that Haydn was writing ‘six Clavier sonatas’ for publication by subscription. Breitkopf evidently failed to attract sufficient subscribers, and in the event only one sonata appeared, the C major No 48. Although in two movements only, like the sonatas for Marie Esterházy, it is far grander than they are, and exploits the fortepiano’s whole range with unprecedented power and flamboyance. In the sonata-rondo finale the keyboard even becomes a surrogate orchestra. The second half of the contredanse theme evokes bantering repartee between bassoons and oboes, while just before the end a rousing tutti, complete with timpani rolls, is comically deflated by timidly stuttering violins. Just as original in its sonorities is the opening Andante con espressione, music both elevated and capricious that crosses Haydn’s favourite double variation form (the minore theme is both a variation and a development of the rhapsodic opening) with the spirit of a free fantasia.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009

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